SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) – Cayuga Community and Onondaga Community Colleges are no strangers to developing strong nursing students. That comes with a strong program that pushes their students to get the most practical work out of their educational experience.
Now bring in Upstate Medical University into that mix, and the ceiling is untouchable.
Earlier this week, a vision was finally put in place that will give nursing students in Central New York the best opportunities to succeed with a more focused pathway.
That vision was an agreement between Cayuga and Onondaga Community Colleges and Upstate Medical University in a three-way partnership for a new dual-degree program.
The program will give the community college students a chance to complete their Associate’s Degree and their RN license (passing of the National Council Licensure Examination) and immediately enroll at Upstate Medical’s Bachelor’s program.
“This is more than just recruiting students to Upstate or to the Community Colleges. This is about recruiting them to jobs and retaining them in jobs,” said Upstate Medical’s Director of Special Admissions, Krystal Ripa. “”It’s about bridging the communication between our Community College partners so that students are getting a seamless education.”
And seamless it may be.
With a 100 % passing rate on their boards and in job placement, and in a cost efficient way, the nursing program at CCC has already set-up their students for success.
And according to CCC’s Nursing Director, Mary Driscoll, this is a huge piece in keeping the students connected and focused.
“It’s a guaranteed pathway,” she said. “It’s a nice Segway for them to not feel isolated and be an aid in helping them picking their path.”
For nursing student, Matthew McDonald, he’s known he wanted to be a nurse for a long-time and Cayuga Community College made the final decision easy for him.
“Being able to go out and perform that actual learning first-hand in clinical settings is huge,” the first-year student said. “It’s really cool to see that go from textbook to real life.”
McDonald also added the importance of the program in regards to real life experience.
“Trial and error is one thing, but when you’re taking care of your patients and you have people’s lives in your hands, that’s something you can’t take lightly,” he added.
The new program will give students a chance to interview for jobs at Upstate while taking courses for the Bachelor’s online. This will immediately be giving them more of that hands-on experience that is crucial in this field.
As for all parties involved, it seems to be a pretty popular topic in the nursing community, and one they are proud of exploring.
“We’re really excited about the opportunities,” said Krystal Ripa. “Right now the pressure is on us to perfect that execution.”
“I’m very excited about it,” added Mary Driscoll. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for our students to work, go to school, and make a change. It will be a huge asset to our profession.”